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Guest Blog: Be Inspired to Green Your School

We were so impressed with the presentation by Hepworth Junior School at the Youth Climate Conference in Huddersfield last month we asked them to share their eco achievements in this weeks guest blog. It really struck us what a big difference you can make to your local and global environments just by making little changes. We hope it inspires you to take little steps to change the world where you are.

“We keep bees at Hepworth. We have two colonies with thousands of bees which we all look after. We have bee suits for all ages in school and pupils take turns to inspect the hives. In Assemblies we learn all about how important bees are for our World and how we can help support them. Many adults in school have bee revival kits which we use to revive any struggling bees we see in our grounds. We have planted wild flowers to help feed them and make sure no pesticides are used anywhere near them.

We have a small community recycle hub at Hepworth. Anyone can drop off crisp packets, tetra packs, glass and foil in our yellow outside bins. These are then taken to larger recycle centres. In school we accept and recycle batteries and pens, alongside the usual Kirklees items as we buy into the recycling service. We are keen to recycle clothes at Hepworth. One of our parents runs ‘a uniform swap’ where parents donate uniform they no longer use; this is then cleaned and redistributed when other parents request items. We have also held a non-uniform swap and recently a Halloween costume swap before the school disco. Families donated clothing in exchange for a token, then used this to ‘buy’ something that fitted their child. This reduces clothes in landfill and saves families money. We want to keep clothing within The Hepworth community and ensure items are used over and over again.

We recently built an eco-greenhouse out of used plastic bottles. This year we will be building new raised beds and each class will grow their own vegetables. We want to teach all pupils the importance of growing. We have also planted saplings from The Woodland Trust on our grounds and left areas to rewild. We have seen a huge increase in the number of insects, butterflies and bees in our grounds and so the amount of birds and mammals has also increased. We don’t cut our grass and encourage our families to do this at home as well.

We have re-written our curriculum recently so an eco-theme flows through it. We want our pupils to understand environmental issues and be active citizens. We will teach pupils about how human activity is directly leading to climate change and about what they can do to change things. We raise money for environmental causes such as Team Seas and Just One Tree. We have changed our search engines to Ecosia so we all plant trees while we search!”

A huge thank you to Headteacher Mark Crouch for his inspiring leadership and to the whole school for working with such enthusiasm for the planet and for their Eco-Schools Award!

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